Tips for making the transition to long-term healthcare

The decision to move yourself or a loved one into a long-term care facility can be difficult and filled with conflicting emotions. However, this decision can be made easier when the transition from home to long-term care is made as smooth as possible. Transitions are usually easier when you know what to expect and how to help a loved one feel more at home. During this time, it’s important to balance the emotional and logistical factors of getting ready to move into a facility as well as sound decision-making.  The following tips should be considered for providing a seamless transition to a nursing home.

1. Know your community. Before choosing a nursing home, one of the most important aspects of knowing what to expect is spending time researching life at the facility. The admissions staff is a good place to start getting to know your future community. They can answer your questions and concerns about things such as available medical care, social activities and events, dining services and amenities.

2. Make a new home. Personal touches make settling into long-term a lot easier. Decorate the room that you or your loved one will be living in with familiar themes or color schemes from home. Furnishings or decorations from home can be a big help to making new surroundings feel more comfortable. Check with the admissions staff to find out what furniture and decorations you may bring from home.

3. Stay social. While jumping right into a new community can be intimidating, social engagement is an important benefit of being in long-term care. Seniors or disabled people who remain socially engaged help themselves combat feelings of loneliness or isolation. The long-term care environment offers excellent opportunities for residents to regularly socialize and engage in their community. Small steps like taking meals in the dining room and participating in group activities will help you or your loved one begin to feel more comfortable.

4. Keep in contact. One of the biggest fears people experience when contemplating a move to a nursing home is being separated from their loved ones and friends. Frequent visits from the onset is a simple way to alleviate these concerns and smooth the transition. Whenever possible set up a schedule for regular visits, phone calls or letters. If you or your loved one is technically savvy, send regular emails or set up video chat sessions. Also, Ecards are a great way to stay in touch and share special times like holidays and birthdays.

To learn more about long-term care and living at McGuffey Healthcare go to www.mcguffeycares.com and schedule an appointment for a tour.

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